The importance of CPD in nursing

When in employment, it is generally assumed that an employee will possess the skills and knowledge required for carrying out their job. Indeed, the main purpose of education and training is to develop skill sets 
and experience that allow us to embark on a career and apply what we have learned up until that point. To perform our role well, and to the best of our abilities, is rightly called an achievement. 

There are many examples of people using their skills and knowledge in order to make a positive difference at work. A recent study published in The Lancet found that a 10% increase in the number of degree-educated nurses employed in hospitals resulted in a 7% decrease in the likelihood of an inpatient dying within 30 days of undergoing a common surgery (Aiken et al, 2014). The findings of the research were welcomed by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), whichstated ‘the demands of modern health care mean that this must be backed up by a higher level of education so that patients, who often have complex needs, receive skilled and compassionate care’ (RCN, 2014).

Of course, leaving education and embarking on working life doesn’t mean 
that your education and training comes to an end. Nurses, in particular, are 
encouraged and required to undertake continuing professional development 
(CPD) to demonstrate that they remain fit to practice and ensure they have the necessary skills to provide patients with the highest level of care (Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), 2013). Health-care professionals also have access  to a number of conferences, study days and journals which serve to inform their professional knowledge. Sharing research and best practice is key to learning and building up an evidence base from which to draw upon in our professions.

One of the best ways of disseminating evidence and research is to write for 
publications. While this is a separate skill in itself, it is one that can be 
developed with practise and with the help of the publication’s editor and peer 
reviewers. It is a process that can be beneficial for author and reader, helping them both understand the research process and what information is relevant, as well as ultimately adding value to nursing practice.
The British Journal of Cardiac Nursing is dedicated to furthering research and sharing evidence-based practice in cardiovascular care. Cardiac nurses who share the same ethos should get in touch; after all, by writing for the journal, there are gains to be made at both a personal and professional level. BJCN
For authors’ instructions, visit or email bjcardn@
The British Journal of Cardiac Nursing has joined Twitter. Follow @BJCardNursing for the latest news and research in cardiac nursing


Related links

Back to listing